Christoph Rieche and James Dear: iwoca
The small business loan provider for online sellers
Christoph Rieche and James Dear, both 33
A Startups Top 20 company in 2012, iwoca caters for a very specific sector in the small and medium-sized business market, and has already provided thousands of short term loans between £500 and £50,000 to online sellers. It does this by using innovative technology to assess sellers’ trading history, customer feedback scores and social media profiles. The model plugs a significant gap in access to finance for these companies, who often have no tangible assets against which to secure a traditional loan. While it’s little more than 18 months old iwoca has already attracted a slew of awards including Best Pitch at the Wired Money conference in July this year and membership of Lord Young and Sir Terry Leahy’s Accelerate 250 watchlist. Christoph has become a leading figure in the ecommerce industry, having presented at the Govknow Supporting Business for Growth Conference and is currently a member of the UKTI Web Exporting Group that is advising the government on how to fuel UK ecommerce export growth.